Mastercard Launches Early Detection Fraud Fighting System

With the spate of hacking lately, everyone is looking for better ways to fend off fraudsters.

As of today, Mastercard is releasing one — it announced its new Early Fraud Detection System.

With the system, issuers can now receive advance alerts about cards and accounts that are facing a higher risk of fraud due to involvement or exposure in an earlier data breach.

The release comes just a month after the Equifax hack left the personal data of 143 million identities compromised.  According to Mastercard, fraudsters are an unfortunately efficient group — they need only 9 minutes to get stolen data posted to the dark web for sale.

Though all compromised accounts will not be used fraudulently, Mastercard believes every second counts, and that a system of early warnings will help issuers to contain their losses when cybercriminals capture sensitive data.

The system functions by leveraging network insights, predictive capabilities and a combination of internal and external data sources to determine if a card or account is at risk. Once a risk has been discovered, an alert goes to the issuer that notes the security issues — as well as a quantification of the level of risk.  The issuer can then determine what to do next with the potentially compromised card.

“Knowledge is power, and this service helps issuers act significantly faster and with greater precision to stop potential fraud before it occurs,” said Ajay Bhalla, president of enterprise risk and security at Mastercard. “Our issuers can now proactively target the fraudulent activity resulting from previously breached or hacked data, helping them reduce costs and maintain the best possible cardholder experience.”

The Early Fraud Detection System is available to issuers globally and works in any sales channel. Things that ping the system include active criminal trading of account data, identification of cards being tested prior to being used for fraud, and account data that appears at-risk, but without sufficient evidence to declare an Account Data Compromise event.

The new system — according to Mastercard — gives issuers as much as a 6 to 18-month jump on data breaches ahead of more traditional methods.



The pressure on banks to modernize their payments capabilities to support initiatives such as ISO 20022 and instant/real time payments has been exacerbated by the emergence of COVID-19 and the compelling need to quickly scale operations due to the rapid growth of contactless payments, and subsequent increase in digitization. Given this new normal, the need for agility and optimization across the payments processing value chain is imperative.